In the winter Cape Air’s seaplanes go through rigorous, extended maintenance procedures during which the planes are checked out from one end to the other. Our Caravan seaplanes are made in Wichita by Cessna, the Wipline floats come from Minnesota and Pratt & Whitney of Canada supplies our engines. Each one of these companies has recommended maintenance procedures, but Cape Air has its own FAA Approved maintenance program and our crew goes well beyond those factory recommendations.
Dave Lindsay, our Director of Maintenance, describes their system as twenty years of evolutionary training, “We’ve come a long way. The maintenance technicians are experts, mainly because they have so much experience and have continuous training. It also helps that they have only one type of aircraft to work on. We are so much faster and more comprehensive than we were ten years ago, or even five years ago. We’ve seen just about everything that can happen over the years, and do as much as possible during the winter months to prevent problems from happening during our busy summer season. It may be expensive, but it works out better because we catch issues before they become problems. Our goal is for our airplanes to fly trouble free which, in the end, saves us money and makes our planes more reliable.”
Each aircraft is on a maintenance tracking program so we never miss any scheduled maintenance or airworthiness directives. Aircraft engines are replaced or overhauled after 3600 hours. Landing gear are taken apart, cleaned, inspected and reassembled every two years; the same for the aircraft’s flight controls. In addition to taking care of the aircraft’s mechanical issues, the technicians spend a lot of their time addressing corrosion due to all those salt water landings. Floats have to be inspected and serviced every 25 hours of flight time and receive more extensive maintenance at 100 hour intervals. Frequently, some of our maintenance techs get to escape winter for a while to conduct required inspections in The Bahamas and Virgin Islands. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it!
Cape Air – providing seaplane services since 1980